Aber wrote:Sheldrake wrote:
Oh and AGRA is short for Army Group Royal Artillery - a brigade sized artillery formation (five or six regiments) usually assigned one per army corps.
For clarity, this is where the British concentrated medium artillery - 4.5 and 5.5 inch guns, etc.
The AGRA was based around medium artillery but included field and heavy artillery. There were usually two to four medium regiments (mainly @ 16 x 5.5" guns but some regiments with 8 x 5.5" and 8 x 4.5" medium guns ). These were the main firepower of the AGRA plus a heavy regiment with a battery of 8 x 7.2" Howitzers (for hard targets) and one 8 x 155" Guns for long range targets. In NW Europe an AGRA would also typically include a field regiment or two. These were often attached to divisions that needed extra support. E.g. an armoured division had eight manouvre units, but only six field batteries. Armoured and tank brigades did not have integral artillery. Airborne divisions only had one regiment with puny 75mm howitzers. In NW Europe an AGRA might also take one or more HAA Regiments under command. @24 x 3.7" Heavy AA guns. 3.7" Heavy AA guns in the ground role had the same range as a 5.5" gun and very effective time fuses. Oh and and a RASC Company to bring the ammunition and return salvage.
Survey regiments weren't part of the AGRA, but were an essential component in the system These located German batteries and provided a common survey grid and meteorology information. An apparently trivial matter but key for the accuracy of predicted fire.
AGRAs came with command, staff and communications to manage artillery command and control for major fire plans. Every fire plan meant calculating long lists of target date, firing schedules, ammunition allocation. Targets traced accurately on paper overlays for 1:25,000 maps and circulated to everyone HQ and unit engaged. That took a lot of brainpower and comms bandwidth.